A bird of a different colour

I recently had a picnic lunch at Clonlea Park in Gawler, South Australia. Gawler is a large town an hour north of Adelaide. The park consists of tennis courts, barbecue areas, extensive areas of lawn and is bordered by the Gawler River. We enjoy having lunch or a cuppa here on our way to visit our daughter in Clare. The bird life is interesting without being spectacular.

Australian Magpies, Wood Ducks, Adelaide Rosellas and Noisy Miner are the most common species present. Crested Pigeons and Spotted Turtledoves are likewise common. Masked Lapwings are sometimes seen on the lawns and Little Pied Cormorants along the river. Red Wattlebirds and White Plumed Honeyeaters are often seen foraging in the tree canopies. Striated Pardalotes are more often heard than seen.

On my most recent visit I was enjoying some lunch when my attention was drawn to a strange looking bird feeding on the grass some fifty metres away. I did not immediately recognise it so I scrambled for the binoculars. It turned out to be a white coloured Cockatiel (see photo), not a species I was expecting to see here. While it was not entirely impossible to see a Cockatiel here, the fact it was a white individual means that someone local is missing their pet bird.

Cockatiel parrot (aviary escapee?)

Cockatiel parrot (aviary escapee?)

Cockatiels are bred by some aviculturalists in a range of colour variations. Why they do this always puzzles me because their natural colours are quite beautiful. We had a natural coloured one when I was quite young and I was able to teach it to speak a number of words. They make quite endearing pets and are quite at home living inside one’s house, like the pet of close friends. Theirs takes delight in harassing their two cats who also spend most of their time indoors.


6 Responses to “A bird of a different colour”

  1. Andrew says:

    Aww a lutino! Just like my Lilo who flew away. Cute. Oh yea I forgot that the mutations are not common in the wild.

  2. Trevor says:

    Mutations can occur but not regularly. In over 30 years of birding I can’t recall seeing any. Some of our resident sparrows sometimes have some extra white on the wings but not all over.

  3. Trevor Mathews says:

    We have recently seen a bird which we believe might be a lutino native species. We think it is a Singing Honyeater, but are not sure. Not sure how to post a picture here – if you can tell us how will post the pic. We posted on the Birdforum site today.

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi there Trevor.

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Unfortunately you cannot post photos here – it is restricted to family members only. Sorry.

    However, you could email a photo to me using my Contact form at the top of this post.

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi again Trevor,

    Thanks for sending me the photo. At first I thought it was a White-plumed Honeyeater but the markings around the eyes weren’t quite right. You are probably right – the best bet seems to be Singing Honeyeater.

    Interesting sighting.

  6. […] variety of Australian parrots. One species I was able to photograph through the wire mesh was a Cockatiel parrot. Up until now I hadn’t managed a good shot of this species in the wild, so I was pleased to […]

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